Contributions to Turkish from the Dialects of Sephardic Jews and Smirneika | Hatice Şirin User (Ege University, Department of Turkish Language and Literature, İzmir)

There is no significant research on the spoken languages of the non-Turkish inhabitants of Izmir from distinct religious and ethnic groups. Therefore, many components of the minority languages have disappeared, almost without a trace both in the social life and academic literature. We don’t really know to what extend the language of the Greeks in İzmir differed from those in Athens. Although the Greeks of İzmir spoke this language, they probably didn’t have the ability to write or read. Morover, they wrote Greek in Latin letters. This system of writing was initially used by the Catholics from Chios (also called Fragiohiotika). “Smirneika” is a language that is composed of both Turkish and Greek elements. Smirneika is a word that exposes a semantic restriction, and the meaning today is restricted to only “İzmir-Greek songs”. However, the Smirneika language contains interesting structures, such as levendis (tall, handsome young man), meraklis (curious), kurnazis (shrewd), spaso dalgadaki ha as (not to ridicule). In this paper, some of the words in the language İzmir Turks which stem from Greek (Smirneika) and the language of Jews coming from Spain will be discussed. 

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